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Enters the devil murder.
Fru. Your unhappy husband Is dead.
Vit. O he's a happy husband; Now he owes nature nothing.
Fru. And by a vaulting engine.
Mon. An active plot;
He jumpt into his grave.
Fra. What a prodigy was't,
That from some two yards high, a slender man
Should break his neck ?
Mon. I'th' rushes!
Fra. And what's more, Upon the instant lose all use of speech, All vital motion, like a man had lain Wound up three days. Now mark each circumstance. Mon. And look
this creature was his wife. She comes not like a widow: she comes arm'd With scorn and impudence: is this a mourning-habit?
Vit. Had I foreknown his death as you suggest, I would have bespoke my mourning.
Mon. you are cunning!
Vit. You shame your wit and judgement,
To call it so; what, is my just defence,
By him that is my judge, call'd impudence ?
Let me appeal then from this Christian court
To the uncivil Tartar.
Mon. See, my lords,
She scandals our proceedings.
Vit. Humbly thus,
Thus low, to the most worthy and respected
Leiger ambassadors, my modesty
And womanhood I tender; but withall,
So intangled in a cursed accusation,
That my defence, of force, like Perseus,
Must personate masculine virtue. To the point;
Find me but guilty, sever head from body;
We'll part good friends: I scorn to hold my
life At your's, or any man's intreaty, sir.
En. Amb. She hath a brave spirit.
Mon. Well, well, such counterfeit jewels
Make true ones oft suspected.
Vit. You are deceived;
For know, that all your strict combined heads,
Which strike against this mine of diamonds,
Shall prove but glassen hammers, they shall break;
These are but feigned shadows of my evils.
Terrify babes, my lord, with painted devils,
I'm past such needless palsy. For your names
Of whore and murdress, they proceed from you,
As if a man should spit against the wind;
The filth returns in's face.
Mon. Pray you mistress, satisfy me one question :
Who lodg'd beneath your roof that fatal night
Your husband brake his neck ?
Bra. That question
Inforceth me break silence; I was there.
Mont. Your business?
Bra. Why, I came to comfort her,
And take some course for settling her estate,
Because I heard her husband was in debt
To you, my lord.
Mont. He was.
Bra. And 'twas strangely fear'd,
would cozen her.
Mont. Who made you overseer?
Bra. Why, my charity, my charity, which should flow
From every generous and noble spirit,
To orphans and to widows.
Mont. Your lust.
Bra. Cowardly dogs bark loudest! sirrah, priest,
I'll talk with you hereafter.-
The sword you frame of such an excellent temper,
I'll sheath in your own bowels.
There are a number of thy coat resemble
Your common post-boys.
Mont. Ha ?
Bra. Your mercenary post-boys;
Your letters carry truth, but 'tis your guise
To fill your mouths with gross and impudent lies.
Ser. My lord, your gown.
Bra. Thou liest, 'twas my stool.
Bestow't upon thy master, that will challenge
The rest o'th' household stuff, for Brachiano
Was ne'er so beggarly to take a stcol
Out of another's lodging : let him make
Vallance for his bed on't, or demy foot-cloth
For his most reverend moile. Monticelso,
Nemo me impune lacessit.
sexit Brachiano. Mon. Your champion's gone.
Vit. The wolf may prey the better.
Fra. My lord, there's great suspicion of the murder ;
But no sound proof who did it. For my part
I do not think she hath a soul so black
To act a deed so bloody: if she have,
As in cold countries husband-men plant vines,
And with warm blood manure them, even so
One summer she will bear unsavory fruit,
And e'er next spring wither both branch and root.
The act of blood let pass, only descend
To matter of incontinence.
Vit. I discern poison
Under your gilded pills.
Mon. Now the duke's gone I will produce a letter,
Wherein 'twas plotted, he and you shall meet
At an apothecary's summer-house,
Down by the river Tyber. View't, my lords:
Where after wanton bathing and the heat
Of a lascivious banquet.— I pray read it,
I shame to speak the rest.
Vit. Grant I was tempted ;
Temptation to lust proves not the act:
Casta est quam nemo rogavit.
You read his hot love to me, but
My frosty answer.
Mon. Frost i'th' dog-days! strange!
Vit. Condemn you me for that the duke did love me?
So may you blame some fair and chrystal river
For that some melancholic distracted man
Hath drown'd himself in't.
Mon. Truly drown'd, indeed.
Vit. Sum up my faults, I pray, and you shall find,
That beauty and gay clothes, a merry heart,
And a good stomach to feast, are all,
poor crimes that you can charge me with.
In faith, my lord, you might go pistol flies,
The sport would be more noble.
Mon. Very good.
Vit. But take you your course, it seems you have beggar'd
AD now would fain undo me. I have houses,
Jewels, and a poor remnant of crusados;
Would those would make you charitable.
Mon. If the devil
Did ever take good shape, behold his picture.
VOL. VII. PART* I.
Vit. You have one virtue left,
You will not flatter me.
Fra. Who brought this letter?
Vit. I am not compell’d to tell you.
Mon. My lord duke sent to you a thousand ducats, The twelfth of August.
Vit. 'Twas to keep your cousin From prison, I paid use for't.
Mon. I rather think,
'Twas interest for his lust.
Vit. Who says so but yourself? if
Pray cease to be my judge; come from the bench,
Give in your evidence against me, and let these
Be moderators. My lord cardinal,
Were your intelligencing ears as loving,
As to my thoughts, had you an honest tongue,
I would not care though you proclaim'd them all.
Mon. Go to, go to.
After your goodly and vain-glorious banquet,
I'll give you a choak-pear.
Vit. Of your own grafting ?
Mon. You were born in Venice, honourably descended From the Vittelli; 'twas my cousin's fate,
I name the hour, to marry you; He bought you of your father.
Mon. He spent there in six months
Twelve thousand ducats, and (to my knowledge)
Receiv'd in dowry with you not one julio.
'Twas a hard penny-worth, the ware being so light;
I yet but draw the curtain, now to your picture :
You came from thence a most notorious strumpet,
And so you have continued.
Vit. My lord !
Mon. Nay, hear me,
You shall have time to prate. My lord Brachiano-
Alas! I make but repetition
Of what is ordinary, and Ryalto talk,
And ballated, and would be play'd o'th' stage,
But that vice many times finds such loud friends,
That preachers are charm’d silent.
You gentlemen, Flamineo and Marcello,
The court hath nothing now to charge you with,
Only you must remain upon your
sureties For your appearance.
Fra. I stand for Marcello.
Fla. And my lord duke for me.
Mon. For you, Vittoria, your public fault,
Join'd to th' condition of the present time,
Takes from you all the fruits of noble pity,
Such a corrupted trial have you made
Both of your life and beauty, and been styl'd
No less an ominous fate, than blazing stars
To princes. Hear your sentence: you are confin'd
Unto a house of converts, and your bawd-
Fla. Who, I?
Mon. The Moor.
Fla. 0, I am a sound man again.
Vit. A house of converts ! what's that?
Mon. A house of penitent whores.
Vit. Do the noblemen in Rome
Erect them for their wives, that I am sent
To lodge there?
Fra. You must have patience.
Vit. I must first have vengeance. I fain would know if
salvation By patent, that you proceed thus.
Mon. Away with her,
Take her hence.
Vit. A rape! a rape!
Vit. Yes, you have ravish'd justice;
Forc'd her to do your pleasure.
Mon. Fie, she's mad !
Vit. Die with those pills in your most cursed maw, Should bring you health! or while you sit o’th' bench, Let your own spittle choke you !
Mon. She's turn'd fury.
Vit. That the last day of judgement may so find you, And'leave
you the same devil you were before !
Instruct me some good horse-leach to speak treason,
For since you cannot take my life for deeds,
Take it for words: 0 woman's poor revenge!
Which dwells but in the tongue. I will not weep.
No; I do scorn to call up one poor tear
To fawn on your injustice : bear me hence
Unto this house of—what's your mitigating title ?
Mon, Of converts.
Vit. It shall not be a house of converts ; My mind shall make it honester to me